- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

DOVER, N.H. (AP) - Jurors wrapped up their first day of deliberations Thursday in the trial of a 31-year-old man prosecutors say raped and killed a University of New Hampshire student in 2012.

The panel of seven women and five men spent the afternoon deliberating the fate of Seth Mazzaglia of Dover, who is charged with first-degree murder and other felonies in the Oct. 9, 2012 death of 19-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott of Westborough, Massachusetts. The jury went home around 4 p.m.

The verdict will hinge on whether the jurors believe his former girlfriend, 20-year-old Kathryn McDonough, who testified for 10 days. McDonough testified that, after a strip poker game, Mazzaglia choked Marriott with a rope when she twice rejected his sexual advances. After leaving the room briefly, McDonough testified that she returned to see Mazzaglia raping Marriott’s lifeless body.

Mazzaglia has said Marriott died during consensual rough sex. He did not testify during the trial.

Prosecutors cast Mazzaglia as the master and manipulator in a sex life marked by bondage and sadomasochism.

Defense lawyers say McDonough controlled Mazzaglia and their sex lives. The defense maintains she killed Marriott during rough sex involving restraints, then blamed Mazzaglia when she got immunity from prosecutors on charges involving the college sophomore’s death. She has pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and other charges and is serving 1 ½ to 3 years in prison.

Strafford County Superior Court Judge Steven Houran told jurors to scrutinize McDonough’s trial testimony with “care and caution” and consider whether it was motivated by self-interest, bias against Mazzaglia or an interest in the outcome of the case.

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